Svetlana, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed quite a few of your essays and comments, but the documentation of…
David Cearley

I am aware that Putin has been accused of murdering journalists but I have seen no evidence. Accusations are easy and that is why they are bandied about against politicians and leaders of all stripes: But evidence is a lot more difficult.

Putin’s long career in the KGB makes me suspect that he would not be averse to having someone killed if he needed to: But I don’t see any motivation there and I think Putin is smarter than that.

The most high profile accusation was of the murder in 2006 of journalist Anna Politkovskaya. It was predictably blamed on Putin because she was a strong critic of his. But lots of other journalists who did not get killed were even stronger critics. Anna Politkovskaya was also writing a series of very embarrassing exposes of large drug cartels in Moscow and their connections with some powerful businessmen both inside and outside of Russia. She had uncovered information that had led to several high profile arrests. Her work had done little or no damage to Putin, and her death did Putin more harm than good, because it was used as an accusation against him. But I think it is far more likely she was killed by a hit-man working for those drug cartels for which she was a constant thorn in the side.

So far no solid evidence has connected Putin to any murders, despite all of his detractors both in Russia and abroad doing everything they can to connect him. I don’t think Putin has murdered any journalists, not because I think he wouldn’t do such a thing; but because it would not be worth his while.

So if I came across evidence that Putin had ordered the murder of someone; I would not be surprised. But so far I have seen nothing but a lot of conspiracy theories.

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